William Christian Erickson

William Christian Erickson (Bill) was born in New York City, NY on September 27, 1938, to Jacqueline Rose Toombs Erickson and William Christian Erickson.  He was called by God on January Erickson19, 2014 in Seattle, Washington at Providence Mount St Vincent nursing facility.  He is survived by his wife, Agnes (Terri) Erickson, seven loving children: Chris, Maria, Anne Legato, Gregory, Geoffrey, Michelle, Kevin, daughters-in-law Meredith, Melody, Casey, Gayle and  twelve grandchildren; his brother and sister-in-law Richard and Marcia Erickson of New Hampshire, and nephews Rich, Adam, Marc and their families of MA, and in-laws: Omer & Mary Bigler of CA; Lucy Alarid of OR, and  John Kochik and George & Claire Kochik & family of OH.

Bill loved growing up in NYC, exploring and working in the Empire State Building as a page in his teens. As a child, the Julliard School of Music and Columbia University campuses as well as the grounds surrounding the Cathedral of St John the Divine were his playground.  He graduated from Corpus Christi Elementary School and attended Manhattan Prep High School for two years before the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he completed high school at St Edward and went on to graduate from John Carroll University with a BSS degree.  He completed MA work in Educational Administration at the College of William & Mary in Virginia.

A member of the ROTC Pershing Rifles, Bill was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant entering the US Army in June 1960.  He began military service in the 3rd Armored Cavalry at Fort Meade, Maryland, and deployed with that unit to Kaiserslautern, Germany during the Berlin Wall build-up.  Several years Erickson2later, he transferred to the Transportation Corps serving in a variety of assignments including Vietnam.  Following his return, he taught management classes at the Army Transportation School at Ft Eustis, VA for five years.  After a tour in Korea, he took a three-year assignment in Izmir, Turkey as the Military Port Operations Officer following which he went on to Pirmasens, Germany to take on the duties of Community Services Officer managing a three-year project to renovate military billets. During his career, he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Vietnamese government’s Cross of Gallantry, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and two Presidential Unit Citations for units he led.  During his seventeen year career in the US Army, Bill rose to the rank of Major during a time when the military was reducing forces.

On leaving the military, the family moved to Seattle, Washington, where he was employed by the Housing Authority of King County as a Recreation Director in White Center.  In this position, he was a Liaison with community social service agencies in the service of underprivileged youth and families for seven years.  He continued in government service as a clerk with the US Postal Service.  Upon completing the Labor Relations Program at Evergreen State College, he became an American Postal Workers Union Shop Steward and member of the Washington State APWU Board of Directors. As a Steward and Labor Contract Negotiator, he served employees in small offices throughout western Washington, and taught Shop Steward and Contract Negotiation classes for the WA State APWU.  For this work he was awarded their highest recognition in 2004: The Willis Cadman Award. His efforts to seek justice and respect for others enabled him to be the Hands of God working among people he encountered in his world.

He possessed a strong love and appreciation of the arts – opera, theatre and music, especially – which gave him great joy.  He believed it important that the arts be a large part of family life.  Music had always been an important part of his life.  He began singing in his church / school choir while in elementary school, and was a member of choirs and glee clubs throughout his life including singing with a group at Mt St Vincent.  He also loved dancing – he and his wife were avid ballroom dance partners. He listened to recorded music constantly.

His hobbies included reading, woodworking, home renovation, kayaking, hunting, fishing, camping, travelling, photography, gardening, collecting travel books, and viewing award-winning movies. He instructed the family in the fine points of all his interests and taught all his children the fine art of home maintenance, repair, and renovation with patience and encouragement.

Erickson3His motto was “No Rain – No Rainbows”.   Bill’s patience, acceptance, faith, hope and trust in a Loving God strengthened him to accept the rigors of Parkinson’s Disease with a positive “Thumbs Up” attitude daily.  He found joy in each moment in time and relaxed with prayer and music.

He succumbed to the side effects of Parkinson’s Disease and will always live in the hearts of family and those he met along the way.  Catholic  Funeral Mass of Christian Burial at Providence Mt St Vincent Chapel, 4831 35th Ave SW, Seattle, WA, 3rd floor, on Monday, January 20,2014, at 1PM.   Internment at Tahoma National Cemetary, Covington. WA.

Memorial Donations may be made to the Providence Mt St Vincent Foundation, 4831 35th Ave SW, Seatle, WA, 98126.

 

2 Responses to “William Christian Erickson”

  • omer mary bigler says:

    Beautiful…Bill left an example for all of us of a loving and patient man…a man with a smile regardless of circumstances…only his faith in God could bring such joy and peace. He will be missed…

  • samuel ghezehei says:

    The most strong, great, and smart person I have ever seen, and lost him recently-William Erickson. I’ll miss and remember him forever. with that in mind, his lovely wife, Terry Erickson is the most dedicate wife to him and excellent example to the rest of us to like her if we want to have real, honest, and long last marriage. May god keep Mr. William in his heaven. and may be with Miss Erickson and the rest of the family.
    Sam.
    One of his care giver.

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